Americans In Both Parties Believe Climate Change Should Be High Priority for Biden Team

Graphic by Annabel Driussi for ODP

By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer

The incoming Biden administration campaigned on promises of taking on climate change, and it turns out this position is popular with Americans from both parties. A new poll conducted in December by the Yale Climate Communications Program found that 53% of registered voters think global warming should be a high or very high priority for both the president and members of Congress. Two-thirds of voters said that developing clean energy should be a similarly high priority for the federal government.  More than half support the president declaring global warming a national emergency, even if Congress does not act. 

Why this Matters: The survey shows strong support for climate action, from requiring fossil fuel companies to pay for their pollution to providing tax rebates for solar panels. “These results show there’s very strong public support for bold, ambitious action on climate change and clean energy,” Anthony Leiserowitz, the report’s lead author told the New York Times. The survey results also show that Americans recognize that market forces alone won’t cure the country’s addiction to fossil fuels.  It will take policies specifically designed to hold polluters accountable, transition to clean energy, and save ourselves from the worst impacts of climate change.

And The Survey Said

There’s strong support among all registered voters for clean energy projects including:

  • 72% support transitioning the U.S. economy (including electric utilities, transportation, buildings, and industry) from fossil fuels to 100% clean energy by 2050.
  • 55% support increasing federal subsidies for renewable energy. . .
  • And 49% support decreasing subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.
  • 83% support creating a jobs program that would hire unemployed oil and gas workers to safely close down thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells, a source of water and methane pollution.
  • 68% support increasing federal funding to low-income communities and communities of color who are disproportionally harmed by air and water pollution.

What people don’t want? An increase in fossil fuel production, which the Trump administration has built federal policy around for the past four years. Among registered voters: 

  • 40% support drilling and mining fossil fuels on public land in the U.S.
  • 28% support drilling for oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

To Go Deeper: Read the full survey results here.

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